I Saw Peter on the Street Today


I saw Peter on the street today
Older, with a young woman
Just like always
His hair still long but thin and grey,
Fly-away
Loose curls like clouds
Cheekbones and shoulders all angles
Small Lennon glasses, still
Looking a few feet in front of his trajectory
Just like always.
Of course I felt it
Right in the solar plexus.
I didn’t used to feel like that.
Today I cry at the drop of a hat.
(Did you know that they dropped their hats
To signal a fight?
That’s where the phrase comes from.
We dropped more than our hats.)
I wanted to stop the car, stop the trajectory
Chase after him and tell him about the hats
-Just like always-
Offer him my newest packet of information
The gift that pleased him most.
Instead I watch the young girl
Craning her slim neck up
A crescent-moon smile on her lips
Perhaps she too is making such an offering
Up to that head-in-the-clouds.
Let her.
Meanwhile, I will keep driving
Following my trajectory
Keeping the gift for you, instead.
There: you have it.
Just like always.

Nerissa Nields
Nov. 17, 2010

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